Everton Women will sign off 2022 with a Continental Cup tie with Durham FC, and Gabby George is desperate to give the fans some early festive cheer.
The Blues will take to the field at Marine FC in Crosby at the scheduled kick-off time of 12.30pm (GMT) on Saturday, 17 December, following a pitch inspection at Walton Hall Park.
Brian Sorensen’s side go into the fixture in a confident mood following a resounding 3-0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday. The momentum that win has built is something George wants to carry forward as the team plays its first home fixture for almost a month, and the defender is keen thank fans with goals.
“It is so hard to get down to London for fans in a midweek,” she said. “The fans have supported us brilliantly throughout the season and this game is great that it’s at home.
“So we want to deliver a performance that makes them happy and get some goals for them to cheer.”
Sitting third in Group A and level on points with Durham, the Blues’ last result in the Continental Cup was a 4-2 reverse to Manchester United, but will go into the fixture as hot favourites.
As ever, competition for places will be high, with Brazilian star Gio Queiroz pushing for a start after her cameo on Wednesday night was capped off by a stunning strike. Jess Park, who also on the scoresheet at Brisbane Road will be keen to add to her tally of four.
Nicoline Sorensen, who produced an outstanding performance in the win over Spurs, will be hard to exclude as she continues her impressive comeback from am ACL injury, leaving the coach with the nicest of selection headaches.
With the team on the verge of a Christmas break, manager Sorensen has a great chance to get another victory and send the fans into Christmas on a high.
Two penalty shootout victories over Sheffield United and Manchester United and a 1-0 defeat to Aston Villa has been the story of Durham’s Continental Cup journey thus far.
Currently ninth in the Championship, Lee Sanders’ team go into the tie as underdogs, a role they have played and succeeded in before. Saoirse Noonan and Rio Hardy have been amongst the goals and will be very much on the radar of the Everton rearguard.
This will be Everton’s second meeting with Durham in the Continental Cup in a year. December 2021 saw the Blues secure a 1-0 Toni Duggan goal, her first upon her return to the Blues.
Saturday’s fixture will be the 13th Meeting all comps versus Durham since May 2014. of those matches, Everton have won nine, with just one defeat and four clean sheets in those nine victories.
Here’s hoping the Toffees make it win number 10 on Saturday.